In no particular order, here are ten master franchise deals signed so far in 2022!
Earlier in the month, Wingstop signed a sizeable master franchise deal to bring the brand to South Korea. It aims to bring around 60 restaurants to the country over a 10-year period, but with further potential for 200 to 250 locations.
“The established demand for western brands and a tech-savvy, delivery-centric consumer base in Korea is expected to prime Wingstop’s success,” said Nicolas Boudet, president of international at Wingstop.
“This agreement demonstrates the brand’s strong global expansion momentum, on the heels of development milestones in Canada and Indonesia. In partnership with an established operator in the region, we look forward to bringing our craveable flavor experience to Korea – a vibrant market that is influential in the Asia-Pacific region and a key growth lever for our business.”
GNC is one of the world’s leading healthcare retail franchise brands, and made a foray into the Taiwanese market by signing a master franchise deal with GCE ProdigID, an affiliate of the Ting Hsin Group. The franchisee has significant experience with the food industry and is, therefore, well-positioned to grow the health and wellness brand across Taiwan.
“We are pleased to welcome GCE ProdigID as GNC’s new partner in Taiwan and look forward to supporting them as they serve consumers in Taiwan,” said Cheri Mullen, vice president, chief international officer, GNC.
“This new international franchising relationship is indicative of our growth and long-term viability as a business at a global scale. GCE ProdigID is an expert in the consumer space.
“Their ability to understand the purchasing behaviors, product preferences and consumer needs in the market will enable great success for the GNC brand in Taiwan.”
Educational franchise brands are enjoying strong growth, and Mathnasium is the most recent brand to sign a master franchise deal to enter Saudi Arabia. The brand signed the agreement with Asma Aldehlawi, who saw the value of the brand when she saw how her son benefited from Mathnasium’s virtual classes. Aldehlawi will open the first location in the capital city of Riyadh, and plans to construct a further 45 centers across the country.
“A first center in Riyadh will be a great opportunity to demonstrate the value Mathnasium provides in helping maximize children’s math capabilities through a fun and enjoyable learning experience,” said Bill Schreiber, executive director of international development of Mathnasium.
“We’re very excited for Mathnasium to be seen, talked about, and experienced in Saudi Arabia.”
Healthy food brands are growing in popularity, which is likely why Pokeworks signed a master franchise agreement in Canada with Eat Up Canada Inc. The franchisee operating company was founded by George Heos and Alex Gerzon, who both have extensive experience in the restaurant industry. The first location will arrive in Toronto by 2023, with 50 locations expected to be built overall.
“Our vision is to be the leading premium fast-casual Poke brand in the world,” said Steve Heeley, CEO of Pokeworks.
“Our partnerships in Mexico, Canada, and Taiwan are clear steps in realizing our vision. We have substantial interest from partners for international expansion which is thrilling, but we’re very selective in choosing whom to partner with.
“Both Eat Up Canada and Next Level Dining are experienced, proven operators with deep knowledge of their markets. The Taiwan dining scene values high-quality raw fish, making our product the perfect fit to successfully introduce poke there.”
5. Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria
A quality pizza brand will always find takers, no matter how saturated the market may be. That’s why Big Mama’s & Big Papa’s Pizzeria was able to find a hungry master franchisee in the great white north. The brand signed with G.K. Patel of the Patel Group, who will look to open around 52 restaurants in Ontario.
“This truly represents a historic moment for the Big Mama’s & Papa’s brand, allowing us to extend our growing reach even further with our first-ever international partnership,” said Ray Perry, president and chief operational officer of Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria.
“We are proud to join forces with The Patel Group, and are excited for the opportunity to introduce Ontario’s diners to the signature experience that only BMPP can provide.”
6. Xponential Fitness
The franchisor of boutique fitness brands managed to sign a master franchise deal to bring three of its brands to Mexico. Xponential Fitness signed with Grupo ITISA to bring StretchLab, Rumble and AKT to open 60 studios across the country over the next ten years. Grupo ITISA is one of Mexico’s largest infrastructure companies and is already involved with franchise brands like Chuck E. Cheese.
“Mexico is the third-largest country in the Americas in terms of number of fitness facilities and now is an outstanding time for Xponential Fitness to enter that market,” said John Kersh, chief international development officer for Xponential Fitness.
“We are excited to partner with Grupo ITISA and are confident that Danny Arditti and his exceptional team are the right people to develop the Xponential brands across the country.”
Popeyes is one of the most famous chicken brands in the world, and it’s not surprising to see the brand expanding into South Korea, a country with a few famous chicken brands itself. Popeyes signed the master franchise agreement with the Silla Group, in a deal that the brand is hoping will return hundreds of stores across the country. The group is very optimistic about the Popeyes brand and sees it as a key driver of growth.
“We are thrilled to launch Popeyes with the Silla Group subsidiary. We have strong confidence in the group and are pleased to announce exciting plans to bring our iconic Louisiana-style chicken to one of the largest chicken QSR markets in the world,” said David Shear, president of RBI International, the parent company of Popeyes.
“Our entry illustrates our commitment to serving more guests around the world and the execution of our growth plans for the Asia-Pacific region.”
8. Realty ONE Group
Realty ONE Group started off 2022 by selling the franchise rights to Ecuador. New master franchisee, Wendy Franco, came across the brand at National Association of REALTORS(R) convention and saw how the brand could perform strongly in Ecuador. Realty ONE Group saw her commitment to her community and country, and felt that she was the perfect master franchisee for Ecuador.
“We continue to paint the globe gold the right way with ambitious partners like Wendy who will uphold our core values and COOLTURE which are the heart and soul of our dynamic organization,” said Kuba Jewgieniew, CEO and founder of Realty ONE Group.
“While we have an abundant opportunity to grow fast, we stay focused on a disciplined expansion strategy that ensures the long-term success of our partners and our company.”
RE/MAX, the real estate franchise brand’s sale of master franchise rights in Central Asia represents the brand’s first foray into the region, and an attempt to bridge the gap to Europe. The Kazakh rights were sold to NEU Ltd., owned by Batjargal “Batyr” Bazarsuren, and Uzbeki rights to Safa Karaduman, an Uzbekistani entrepreneur. Both master franchisees are extremely enthusiastic and optimistic about the future of real estate in their countries, and the wider region.
“RE/MAX is thrilled to enter these two new markets. The more opportunities we have to expand the RE/MAX network into new countries and regions, the more opportunities we have to connect people,” said Shawna Gilbert, RE/MAX vice president, global growth and development.
“This is a business of relationships and we are a proud global community. Business does not stop at borders, and these expansions help affiliates professionalize and revolutionize their local real estate industries, while advancing careers and helping individuals and families find a community of their own. It really comes full circle.”
Arby’s closed off January with a monumental master franchise deal in Saudi Arabia, with one of Dunkin’s largest global franchisees, and the largest in Saudi Arabia. Arby’s awarded the rights to Shahia Foods Company Limited, who operate over 500 Dunkin’s locations in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Germany. The first restaurants are expected to open later this year.
“We are thrilled to expand our strong relationship with Shahia Foods to bring Arby’s premium meat sandwiches to guests across Saudi Arabia,” said Michael Haley, president and managing director of international for Inspire Brands.
“As a fast-growing region with the potential for hundreds of Arby’s locations, the Middle East is an important cornerstone in the next chapter of the brand’s global expansion. We are confident in Arby’s runway for continued growth across the region and beyond.”